Taking the next steps in solving the global issue of container fires. Key Takeaways from our Roundtable22/11/2023
Safetytech Accelerator, together with Lloyd’s Register, recently hosted a roundtable event on the pressing issue of container fires.
Why this topic?
The maritime industry faces a mounting challenge with the increasing incidence and far-reaching consequences of fires on ships. Factors such as cargo mis-declaration/non-declaration and the prevalence of high-risk cargoes like lithium-ion batteries contribute significantly to this supply chain dilemma. Beyond immediate safety and environmental concerns, these incidents tarnish investor relationships, damage client reputations, and cast a shadow over the entire maritime supply chain.
In this context, ensuring the safety of the supply chain is a shared responsibility. Stakeholders must recognise their role, understand interdependencies, and appreciate how training, regulatory compliance, enforcement and technologies can play pivotal roles in meeting this challenge head-on.
This topic is linked to the collaborative Cargo Fire and Loss Innovation Initiative, established by Safetytech Accelerator, providing an opportunity for those interested to join and address this critical issue.
Global Engagement: Insights and Positive Actions
We welcomed passionate participants from across the globe, representing diverse supply chain interests. Their valuable insights and willingness to take positive actions underscore the gravity of this complex, interconnected and multi-faceted issue.
These were some of the key takeaways from the session:
- The impact, disruption and costs involved with a container fire are significant anywhere but most heavily felt during vessel transportation. Early detection and containment are seen as key in preventing further escalation where adjacency risks may rapidly escalate the fire scenario.
- Incident data shows an increasing number of reported container fires onboard ships with shipping risks heavily influenced by supply-chain decisions and actions far removed from the vessel.
- Challenges related to the occurrence of cargo misdeclaration/non-declaration have included, application of process checks & procedures, visibility and monitoring of container contents, cost drivers, fragmentation in regulations, the level/volume of inspections, including the reporting and finally the extent of enforcement have emerged as critical issues, underscoring the interconnected nature of the supply chain.
- To improve regulatory compliance, it was widely viewed that training and increased awareness of the applicable requirements would create positive change.
- Addressing this problem requires a holistic approach. Technology, as a catalyst for change, coupled with education, training, and collaboration, can play a pivotal role in mitigating the impact and driving sustainability in the supply chain.
Based on the industry views and challenges areas shared during the roundtable, we will continue to work with stakeholders to identify and prioritise technology solutions that address the critical issue of container fires, enhancing the safety, resilience, and sustainability of the supply chain.
There is a clear and urgent need for collaboration to prevent cargo fires in the supply chain. If you are a shipper, insurer, freight-forwarder, terminal operator, shipping company, cargo owner, Port Authority, or Regulator, and are interested in hearing more about or join the initiative, please fill in the form below.